For those new to the term, ‘progressive Christian’ isn’t simply a reference to a democrat who is a Christian, but rather a specific viewpoint of both Jesus and the Bible. Progressive Christianity, also referred to as ‘Liberal Christianity’ or the ‘Christian Left’ (For more on Progressive Christianity, see Lucas Miles’ new book, The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church), emerged from Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment philosophers like Voltaire, Kant, and Hegel, as well as French Roman Catholic Richard Simon, often referred to as the ‘Father of Biblical Criticism.”
Progressive Christianity introduced to the world a belief in the ‘historic Jesus’, as an intentional distancing from the Biblically orthodox Christ presented in the scriptures. For the Christian Left, while the Bible may contain certain truths and historical accuracies, it cannot be trusted as a whole and requires human reason to evaluate each and every passage to determine whether or not that specific passage can be used to create a reliable portrait of Jesus. As such, a progressive view of scripture tends to reject and reason away all supernatural aspects of the Bible, including the miracles of Jesus and the resurrection. In the progressive historic view, Jesus is a good teacher, a social reformer, a rabbi, and a Cynic philosopher, but rarely the Son of God or Christ, the Savior of the world.
In our day, while beliefs among the Christian Left vary, most hold to a critical view of scripture (as opposed to a traditional view that holds the Bible to be the inerrant ‘Word of God’), an acceptance of Darwinism, a normalization of progressive views of gender and sexuality, and an emphasis of Jesus’ role in social justice and societal reform. Among those often regarded as being modern adherents to a form of Progressive Christianity are author and scholar Bart D. Ehrman, Democratic politician Pete Buttigieg, and journalist Jonathan Merritt. For Ehrman, his historic view of Jesus led him to a form of agnosticism, whereas Buttigieg still claims denominational affiliation with the Episcopal Church.
Describing his own ‘de-conversion’ from traditional Christian faith, Merritt, a contributing editor at Religion News Service, confessed in a tweet, “Like many, evangelicalism provided me with some wonderful gifts for a season, but I feel like I have grown beyond it in many ways. Its tools and frameworks are no longer sufficient to sustain me in this phase of life. While I honor my heritage, I’m mostly seeking God elsewhere.” For Merritt, his elsewhere, appears to be a form of progressively ‘woke’ Christianity – the kind affirmed in the aforementioned TikTok video.
The reason this video is noteworthy is because it demonstrates the growing chasm between a Biblical view of Christianity and progressive view of Jesus. In the same video, the TikTokker goes on to attack traditional Christians, warning, “Between your flawed bibles, asinine ideals, and just outright misinformation – we’ve had enough.”
Surprisingly, due to the departure of certain Biblical ideas, such as the Lordship of Jesus and original sin, progressive Christianity apparently is able to stand unified alongside satanism, since the cause of division, namely viewing Jesus as Savior, has been removed. Biblical Christianity, on the other hand, while still offering love to someone caught in the deception of satanism, cannot find agreement or unity in belief, as the apostle Paul wrote, “What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil?”
Lucas Miles is the host of The Lucas Miles Show and the author of the new book, The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church (Broadstreet Publishing, 2021). Follow Lucas on Twitter at @LucasMiles.